Vail Daily column: Nothing wrong with fantasizing
We all do it.
Anyone who denies it is simply telling a lie or living in denial.
Some claim it to be the downfall of society while others claim it to be a cornerstone of a free society.
Still others claim it to be immoral based simply upon ancient written words, and these are the ones that scare me the most.
But the U.S. Constitution says zilch about involving oneself in fantasy football (admit it, you thought I was going someplace else with that, didn’t you … ), nor does it reference gambling in any form, so why is the mere existence of companies like DraftKings.com and FanDuel.com suddenly so controversial?
“Is fantasy football gambling?” appears to be an actual question being asked by New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, the elected official who decided Congress should investigate such an obviously pressing question that apparently determines the ultimate fate of our nation.
Under federal law passed by Congress in 2006, fantasy sports are games of skill, not chance (read: luck) and therefore are not gambling.
Well, duh, the skills I have acquired since first participating in fantasy football (1982 at Park Cities Bank in Dallas), have played a huge role forging the middle-aged putz that I have become.
But is it truly gambling?
Well, fantasy wagering involves real money, and I pay up front for the chance to win far more in return by learning a game, tracking player performance and hopefully manipulating the odds in my favor.
So I suppose the answer is yes, but like all gambling, the house will always have much better odds.
Yet why are some forms of gambling illegal and others not?
Certain cults deem it a sin (meaning it goes against something they believe in at the moment), but I would wager that every single one of their members have purchased insurance, extended warranties, lottery tickets, stocks and bonds, real estate, tossed darts at a carnival or provided coins for their little darling to manipulate a claw to try and grab a cheap toy.
Hell, life is a gamble, and those people are just simple hypocrites.
But the real reason is simple: tax revenue.
Some forms of gambling are legal because of exemptions in our tax code, and like prostitution in Nevada, prove we have the best government money can buy.
Congressman Pallone must have had an epiphany of reality, realizing, “Hey, there’s a whole lot of taxes we could be collecting on those online winnings,” thus his superficial follow-up ramblings on the evils of gambling.
Reality also shows that Draft Kings and Fan Duel have already spent over $200 million on national advertising so far in 2015, which for comparison’s sake takes our fellow Coloradoans two entire months to spend on pot.
These are all what government refers to as “big ticket items.”
So this entire issue is nothing but politicians getting involved in something they don’t understand because of potential revenue streams.
But either way I am sure DraftKings.com and FanDuel.com appreciate my weekly donations to indulge in a little fantasy.
After all, it’s my money.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.